The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said it is improving monitoring and surveillance activities with a view to ensure that only safe products are in circulation in the country.
Stating this during a donation by Dangote Group, led by its Acting Managing Director, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Engr. Abdullahi Sule in Lagos, the Acting Director General of NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, noted the hazardous nature of the agency’s mandate and warned importers who engaged in nefarious activities to desist.
Oni stressed that NAFDAC would not only continue to seize fake and banned products imported into the country, but destroy and prosecute every person found wanting.
“The earlier we arose to do good things the better for us. Apart from giving marketing authorization to products that we regulate.
“It behoves us to also carry out surveillance and monitoring activities to ensure that the quality as at the time that product was granted marketing authorisation is retained.
“Apart from that, we also have the issue of some items that are in the prohibition list that are bad and you know Nigerians who they are, they will like to bring in those products. The onus is on us for those ones that are under purview of NAFDAC, not to allow them to come in at all. We will not do it alone, we will partner with other sister agencies like the Nigeria Customs, which is always at the border post.”
Noting that the agency has received so much support from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) she said the donation by Dangote would go a long way in improving their activities.
“Our activities require good vehicles, if you don’t have a vehicle, how do you begin to chase people that are already mobile and they are running away. Now, we can chase them,” the Acting NAFDAC boss said.
Oni who further disclosed that the Inspector General of Police, IGP, has promised to give the agency a set of officers, adding that NAFDAC do not carry arms, hence the need to partner with the Police.
“With adequate number of Police officers and good vehicle, when we are chasing, we know that we have adequate cover because there are times, you want to carry out enforcement and surveillance activities that we are attacked, but with the presence of the Police, it reduces the hazards that we face in the course of carrying out our duties.
“What this means is that as from today, these vehicles will be put into more effective operations of NAFDAC functions, especially our enforcement, inspection, and post marketing surveillance. We have six pilot vehicles; we are expecting two more, one additional Hilux from Bua and a 16-seater bus,” she added.
Pledging that the vehicles would be put into judicious use, she called on well-meaning Nigerians and cooperate organisations to partner with NAFDAC as the agency cannot succeed alone.
“Our service is for humanity and we must make sure that we improve the wellbeing of the citizenry.”
She however, warned that the fact that a company gave NAFDAC a gift does not exempt such organisation from being monitored.